Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My desktop system is:

$ uname -a
Linux xmachine 3.0.0-13-generic #22-Ubuntu SMP Wed Nov 2 13:25:36 UTC 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

By running ps a | grep getty, I get this output:

  900 tty4     Ss+    0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty4
  906 tty5     Ss+    0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty5
  915 tty2     Ss+    0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty2
  917 tty3     Ss+    0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty3
  923 tty6     Ss+    0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty6
  1280 tty1     Ss+    0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty1
  5412 pts/1    S+     0:00 grep --color=auto getty

I think ttyX processes is for input/ouput devices but I am not quite sure. Based on this I am wondering that why there are 6 ttyX processes running? I have only one input devices(keyboard) actually.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 15 down vote accepted

This shows because one getty process is running on each virtual console (VC) between tty1 and tty6. You can access them by changing your active virtual console using Alt-F1 through Alt-F6 (Ctrl-Alt-F1 and Ctrl-Alt-F6 respectively if you are currently within X).

For more information on what a TTY is, see this question, and for information on virtual consoles, see this Wikipedia article.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.